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Chapter Twenty

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Title: Chapter Twenty


1
Chapter Twenty
  • Writing and Assembling an APA-Format Research
    Report

PowerPoint Presentation created by Dr. Susan R.
Burns Morningside College
2
What is APA Format?
  • APA Format
  • Accepted American Psychological Association (APA)
    form for preparing reports of psychological
    research.
  • The particular form for preparing APA format
    papers is found in the fifth edition of the
    Publication Manual of the American Psychological
    Association (American Psychological Association,
    2001).
  • APA format was adopted to help make the
    publication of journal articles more uniform.
  • In addition to being computer friendly, the
    general layout and design of the APA-format paper
    are reader friendly.

3
What is APA Format?
  • Headings
  • Titles for various sections of a psychology paper
    designed to help the reader understand the
    outline and importance of parts of the paper.
  • Authors use headings to divide the APA-format
    paper into sections and to help the reader
    understand the papers organization.
  • You should buy a Publication Manual (PM) and
    think of it as an investment in your future.

4
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • The major components of an APA-format paper are,
    in order
  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method Section
  • Results Section
  • Discussion Section
  • References
  • Appendixes (if any)
  • Author note
  • Tables (if any)
  • Figures (if any)

5
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Title Page
  • The first page of an APA-format paper. It
    includes the manuscript page header, the running
    head, the manuscripts title, and the name(s) of
    the author(s) and their affiliation(s).

6
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Title Page
  • Manuscript page header
  • The first two or three words of the reports
    title. Appears with the page number on each page
    of the research report.
  • Running head
  • A condensed title that is printed at the top of
    alternate pages of a published article.
  • The running head should be a maximum of 50
    characters, including letters, punctuation, and
    spaces between words.
  • When you type the running head on the title page,
    it is in all-capital letters. Also, note that
    the h in running head is not capitalized.

7
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Title Page
  • Title of the paper
  • The title of the paper, which is centered, may
    begin six or eight below the page number.
  • Capitalize the first word and all major words of
    the title.
  • Your title should summarize clearly and simply
    the nature of the research you are reporting, but
    it should not be overly long. The APA recommended
    length for the title is 10 to 12 words.
  • The name(s) of the author(s) is(are) double
    spaced below the title. The authors
    institutional affiliation is double-spaced below
    the authors name.
  • If there is more than one author, the authors
    names appear in order of importance of their
    contributions to the research project.

8
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Abstract
  • The word Abstract is centered and appears two
    lines below the page number.
  • A centered section title in which the first
    letters of major words are capitalized is
    designated as a Level 1 heading.
  • Level 1 heading
  • A centered section title in which the first
    letters of major words are capitalized. Occupies
    a line by itself.

9
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Abstract
  • The abstract of an experimental report consists
    of a brief (up to 120 words) one paragraph
    description of the research presented in your
    paper.
  • The paragraph that comprises the abstract should
    include a description of the intent and conduct
    (including participants and method) of your
    project, the results you obtained, and the
    projects implications or applications.
  • It is important to note that the abstract is
    typed in block form there is not indentation on
    the first line.

10
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Introduction
  • The first major section of the APA-format paper.
    Contains the thesis statement, review of relevant
    literature, and experimental hypothesis.
  • Your introduction section begins on page 3 of
    your report.
  • The level 1 heading from this section is the
    title from page 1. Be sure that it is exactly
    the same in both places.
  • The introduction starts off broad, then narrows
    to a specific focus leading to a logical
    experimental question.
  • The first sentence on page 5 (Figure 14-5) forms
    the thesis statement for the student manuscript.
  • The thesis statement should indicate the general
    topic in which you are interested and your
    general view of the relation of the relevant
    variables in that area.
  • Note that every fact-based statement is supported
    by a citation to a reference.
  • If you wish to locate one of the references
    cited, you can find the necessary information in
    the reference section.

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Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Introduction
  • Citation
  • A notation in text that a particular reference
    was used. The citation provides the name(s) of
    the author(s) and date of the works publication.
  • Reference
  • A full bibliographic record of any work cited in
    the text of a psychological paper.
  • Reference section
  • A complete listing of all the references cited in
    a psychological paper.
  • A second point on writing in APA style is that
    the use of unbiased language is imperative.
  • Unbiased language is language that does not state
    or imply a prejudice toward any individual or
    group.

14
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Method
  • The objective of the method section is to provide
    sufficient detail about your experiment to enable
    readers to evaluate its appropriateness or
    replicate your study should they desire.
  • The method section is typically made up of three
    subsections participants, apparatus (also
    designated materials or testing instruments), and
    procedure.
  • Method is a level 1 section heading.
  • The participants subsection enumerates and
    describes the experimental participants.
  • Participants is a level 3 heading.

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16
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Method
  • Level 3 heading
  • A section title that is left-margin-justified,
    underlined, and has the first letter of each
    major word capitalized. Occupies a line by
    itself.
  • The subsection on participants answers three
    questions
  • Who participated in the study?
  • How many participants were there?
  • How were the participants selected?

17
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Method
  • Apparatus, Materials, or Testing Instruments.
  • This figure shows the materials subsection of the
    method section.
  • Materials subsection
  • The second subsection of the method section.
  • When appropriate, contains information about
    materials other than equipment used in the
    experiment.

18
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Method
  • Apparatus subsection
  • The second subsection of the method section.
  • When appropriate, contains information about
    materials other than equipment used in the
    experiment.
  • If you use equipment in the experiment, you
    should label this subsection Apparatus.
  • Testing Instrument(s) subsection
  • The second subsection of the method section.
  • When appropriate, contains information about
    standardized tests used in the experiment.
  • If your equipment consists of standardized
    psychological testing materials, then the label
    Testing Instruments (or Measures) would be
    appropriate.

19
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Procedure
  • The third subsection of the method section.
  • Provides a step-by-step account of what the
    participants and experimenter did during the
    experiment.
  • Your primary goal in the procedure subsection is
    to describe how you conducted your experiment.
  • You should give enough information to allow a
    replication of your method, but do not include
    unnecessary details.

20
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Procedure
  • Here is a list of details you should include in
    this section
  • 2 X 2 design
  • Between-subjects design
  • Recruited participants from various locations on
    campus
  • Order of presentation of materials
  • Random assignment
  • DV questions embedded among filler questions
  • Debriefing after participation
  • 4 experimental conditions

21
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Procedure
  • The procedure subsection is typically the longest
    of the three components of the method section.
  • Its length will vary depending on the complexity
    of your experiment.
  • The key point is that experimenters should
    provide you with the information you need to
    understand what they did in their experiment and
    how they did it.

22
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Results
  • The third major section of the APA-format paper.
  • Contains information about the statistical
    findings from the experiment.
  • It is your job in the results section to decode
    the meaning of your numbers into words for the
    reader.
  • At the same time you must provide the factual,
    numerical basis to back your decoding.

23
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Results
  • Inferential Statistics
  • As you write the results section, you should
    assume that your reader has a good understanding
    of statistics.
  • Therefore, you do not review basic concepts such
    as how the null hypothesis is rejected.
  • The most important information to report is the
    specific findings from your inferential
    statistics.
  • In presenting inferential statistical results,
    you must present the test that was used, the
    degrees of freedom for the test, the test
    statistics, the probability level, and a measure
    of effect size.

24
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Results
  • Descriptive statistics
  • In order to give a full picture of the data, it
    is customary to present descriptive statistics in
    addition to the inferential statistics.
  • Means and standard deviations typically allow
    readers to get a good feel for the data.
  • With a small number of groups, you can present
    the descriptive statistics in the text.
  • With many groups, it may be more efficient and
    clearer to present the descriptive statistics in
    either a table or a figure.

25
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Results
  • Descriptive statistics
  • A figure is a pictorial representation of a set
    of results.
  • It is likely that the majority of figures you
    will use will be line graphs or bar graphs.
  • It may be easier to see an interaction in a line
    graph than in a bar graph.
  • Be sure to refer to your figures in the text at
    an appropriate place.
  • The advantage of a figure over a table is
    accessibility the data, particularly the
    significant interaction, seem easier to
    understand and conceptualize in the pictorial
    presentation.

26
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
27
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Results
  • Descriptive statistics
  • A table consists of a display of data, usually in
    numerical form.
  • To use a table, your data display should be large
    enough that it would be difficult or confusing to
    present in the text.
  • The advantage of the table over the figure is
    that standard deviations can be included in the
    table.
  • If you use a table in your paper, be sure to
    refer to it at the appropriate point.

28
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Discussion
  • The fourth major section of the APA-format paper.
  • Contains a summary of the experiments results, a
    comparison of those results to previous research,
    and the conclusion(s) from the experiment.

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Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Discussion
  • You should be guided by three questions in the
    discussion section
  • What have I contributed here?
  • How has my study helped to resolve the original
    problem?
  • What conclusions and theoretical implications can
    I draw from my study?
  • Typically, authors answer these three questions
    by
  • Briefly restating their findings
  • Comparing and contrasting their findings to
    previous research cited in the introduction
  • Giving their interpretation of their findings

31
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Discussion
  • Restating results
  • Your first task in the discussion section is to
    recap your results as briefly as possible.
  • Typically, you will summarize only your
    significant findings, unless a null finding is
    particularly meaningful.
  • Comparing results to previous research
  • Typically, you will have made a prediction before
    the experiment about your expected findings based
    on your survey of previous research.
  • You should tell the reader how accurate your
    predictions were.
  • If you correctly predicted your results from
    previous research, the previous research and your
    study are both validated.
  • If your prediction is not borne out, some doubt
    is cast either your research or the previous
    research may be flawed in some way.

32
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Discussion
  • Interpreting the results
  • This portion of the discussion section gives you
    more of a free hand to engage in conjecture and
    speculation than any other portion of the
    experimental writeup.
  • It is here that you draw the bottom line to your
    study
  • What is the overall conclusion?
  • What are the implications of your results for any
    psychological theories?
  • How can your results be applied in various
    settings the laboratory, the real world, our
    body of psychological knowledge?
  • What new research should grow out of this study?

33
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • References
  • There are two important reasons why it is your
    responsibility to provide a complete list of
    accurate references to any published works that
    you cite in your research report
  • You must give credit to the original author(s)
    for any ideas and information that you got from
    reading other works.
  • You are providing a historical account of the
    sources you used in the event that a reader
    wishes to read them in their entirety.

34
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • References
  • The only references that you list are those from
    which you actually obtained information and cited
    somewhere in your paper.
  • If you do not cite a particular source, you
    should not reference it.

35
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • References
  • Periodical Articles
  • The PM shows examples of 22 different types of
    references to periodicals on pages 240-247.
  • Your most typical use of periodicals will
    probably be to reference articles in journals.
    The general format for periodicals is as follows
  • Author, A. A., Author B. B., Author C. C.
    (date). Title of
  • article. Title of periodical, vol, ppp-ppp

36
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • References
  • Books
  • The PM provides 11 examples of references to
    books on pages 248-251.
  • The general format for a book reference is
  • Author, A. A. (date). Title of work. Location
    Publisher.

37
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • References
  • Chapters from edited books
  • Most edited books contain chapters written by
    different authors.
  • You can cite information from a single chapter
    within such a book.
  • The PM gives seven examples of such references
    on pages 252-255.
  • The general format for a reference for a chapter
    from an edited book is
  • Author, A. A., Author, B. B. (date). Title of
    chapter. In C. C. Editor, D. D. Editor, E. E.
    Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. nnn-nnn).
    Location Publisher.

38
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • References
  • World Wide Web Sources
  • Providing references for information that you
    obtain from the World Wide Web is just as
    important as providing references for written
    material in fact, it may be even more
    important.
  • Unlike journal articles or books, material on the
    Web can change quite rapidly.
  • The PM has an extensive section dealing with
    electronic media references, which includes 25
    examples of Internet and Web references on pages
    268-281.
  • Here is an example of a citation to information
    on a Web site
  • American Psychological Association. (2001).
    Electronic reference formats recommended by the
    American Psychological Association. Retrieved
    September 6, 2002, from http//www.apastyle.org/e
    lecref.html

39
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • References
  • Other references
  • Although we expect that most of your references
    will be to periodicals, books, and chapters in
    edited books, the PM has 30 examples of other
    types of references you might use.
  • These other references include technical and
    research reports, proceedings of meetings and
    symposia, doctoral dissertations and masters
    theses, unpublished works and publications of
    limited circulation, reviews, and audiovisual
    media.
  • No matter what type of material you wish to
    reference, the PM will have a format for you.

40
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Appendix
  • Most published articles do not contain an
    appendix because of space limitations.
  • Appendices are more common in student papers.
  • Typically you include information that might help
    readers understand some details of your study
    that would be distracting in the body of the
    paper.

41
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Author Note
  • A note at the end of an experimental report that
    contains information about the author or paper
    for readers use.

42
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Headings
  • APA-format papers use a different type of heading
    for each section of the report.
  • The major sections of the report, such as the
    introduction, method, results, and discussion are
    introduced by a level 1 heading.
  • Subsections within these main sections are
    introduced by lower-level headings.
  • The participants, apparatus, and procedure
    subsections of the method section are generally
    introduced by a level 3 heading.

43
Sections of the APA-Format Paper
  • Headings
  • The participants, apparatus, and procedure
    subsections of the method section are generally
    introduced by a level 3 heading.
  • Level 3 headings are left-margin justified, are
    italicized, have the first letter of each major
    word capitalized, and occupy a line by
    themselves.
  • Should you need to further subdivide these
    subsections, use a level 4 heading.
  • A level 4 heading is indented five spaces,
    underlined, has only the first word capitalized,
    and ends with a period.
  • It does not occupy a separate line.

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45
Writing in APA Style
  • General Guidelines
  • The main objective of scientific writing is clear
    communication.
  • It is your job to communicate your ideas as
    clearly as possible to the reader.
  • The PM provides you wit several hints about how
    to accomplish this goal (be sure to read pages
    31-40 in the PM to supplement the following
    information).
  • Orderly Presentation of Ideas
  • The key idea here is continuity.
  • From the beginning of your research report to the
    end, you are focusing on an idea or thought in
    which you tell the reader about your experiment.
  • Dont detour as you write your manuscript. Get on
    track and stay there with a singleminded purpose.

46
Writing in APA Style
  • General Guidelines
  • Smoothness of Expression
  • Writing in a continuous fashion will greatly aid
    your smoothness of expression.
  • One of the best things you can do to make your
    writing smooth is to work on transition sentences
    when you shift from one topic to another.
  • Try to avoid abrupt shifts that make readers feel
    they have run into a wall.
  • Economy of Expression
  • It is important to be direct and to the point in
    your writing.
  • When journal editors work on submitted
    manuscripts, they have only a limited number of
    pages available for the printed journal.
  • The PM specifically advises you to avoid jargon,
    wordiness, and redundancy.

47
Writing in APA Style
  • General Guidelines
  • Precision and Clarity
  • Make sure that the words you use fit the exact
    purpose and meaning that you have in mind.
  • Clarity rarely occurs on a first attempt at
    writing be sure that you reread and edit
    everything you write.
  • Strategies to Improve Writing Style
  • The PM (2001) suggests three approaches to
    becoming a more effective writer (p. 40)
  • Write from an outline.
  • Write your first draft, put it away, and reread
    it after a delay.
  • Ask someone to evaluate your writing.

48
Writing in APA Style
  • Grammatical Guidelines
  • The PM covers a variety of guidelines about
    grammar on pages 40-61.
  • Passive Voice
  • According to the PM, as well as other style
    guides, you should use active voice rather than
    passive voice in writing your research report.
  • That versus Which
  • Clauses beginning with that are termed
    restrictive clauses and should be essential to
    the meaning of the sentence.

49
Writing in APA Style
  • Grammatical Guidelines
  • That versus Which
  • Clauses beginning with which can be either
    restrictive or nonrestrictive (simply adding
    additional information).
  • In APA style, you should confine yourself to
    using which for nonrestrictive clauses. Thus,
    that and which should not be used
    interchangeably.
  • Nonrestrictive clauses should be set off with
    commas. For example
  • The stimulus items, which were nouns, appeared on
    a computer monitor.

50
Writing in APA Style
  • Grammatical Guidelines
  • Words with Temporal Meaning
  • The words since and while can cause difficulty
    in scientific writing because they have more than
    one meaning in everyday usage.
  • Writers often use since interchangeably with
    because and use while to substitute for
    although.
  • APA style specifies that since and while should
    only be used for temporal purposes (to make time
    comparisons).
  • Use while to denote events that occur at the
    same time and since to denote that time has
    passed.
  • Here are a couple of examples
  • Many different IQ tests have evolved since
    Binets original version.
  • While the participants were studying the verbal
    items, they heard music.

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Writing in APA Style
  • Grammatical Guidelines
  • Bias in Language
  • Unbiased language is important in helping
    maintain a neutral (unbiased) approach to
    science.
  • The PM gives three guidelines that may be
    helpful in reducing bias in writing
  • Describe at the appropriate level of specificity.
  • You should describe people as specifically as you
    can.
  • For example, Japanese Americans is more
    specific than Asian Americans.
  • Be sensitive to labels.
  • We should refer to groups as they wish to be
    referred to rather than imposing our own labels
    on them.
  • People diagnosed with schizophrenia is both
    more accurate and more preferred than
    schizophrenics (PM, p. 64).
  • Acknowledge participation.
  • The general idea of this guideline is to make
    sure you remember that the participants in your
    experiment are individuals.
  • This idea formed the rationale for changing the
    label subjects to the label participants.
  • Using active rather than passive voice also helps
    to personalize your participants.

52
APA Editorial Style
  • Chapter 3 of the PM (pp. 77-214) addresses APA
    editorial style.
  • This chapter gives writers a style guide to
    follow that will help create uniformity in
    writing by different authors in different
    publications.
  • In addition to the important aspects of APA
    editorial style we have covered to this point,
    you should be aware that the PM gives you
    guidance on issues such as punctuation, spelling,
    capitalization, italics, abbreviations,
    seriation, quotations, numbers, footnotes, and
    appendixes.

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Preparing Your Manuscript
  • Chapter 5 of the PM (pp. 283-320) provides the
    guidelines you need in order to actually type
    your experimental paper.
  • This is probably one of the most-used chapters in
    the manual because it includes three sample
    papers (pp. 306-320).
  • These sample papers include notations of specific
    sections of the manual for each important
    component of the paper.
  • You should consult chapter 5 of the PM whenever
    you have a question about typing a specific
    portion of your manuscript.

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Preparing Your Manuscript
  • Consult Table 14-2 for more comprehensive
    guidelines regarding APA formatting of your
    manuscript.
  • If you have questions about other matters as you
    type your manuscript, consult Chapter 5 of the
    PM.

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Preparing Your Manuscript
  • Here is a short list of the highlights of the
    typing instructions
  • Line spacing
  • Double-space everything everywhere.
  • Margins
  • Use at least 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • Lines
  • Set your word processor to left justification.
  • Your paper should have a ragged right edge
    throughout.
  • Here is a short list of the highlights of the
    typing instructions
  • Pages
  • Number all pages (including the title page,
    excepting figures) consecutively.
  • The following sections should begin on new pages
    title page, abstract, introduction, references,
    appendixes, author note, footnotes, tables (a
    separate page for each), figure captions (all on
    one sheet), figures (each on a separate page).

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Preparing Your Manuscript
  • Here is a short list of the highlights of the
    typing instructions
  • Word spacing
  • Space once after all punctuation, including plus
    and minus signs in equations.
  • There is no spacing after hyphens or dashes.
  • Quotations
  • Enclose quotations that are shorter than 40 words
    in double quotation marks ( ) and write them as
    part of the text.
  • Longer quotations should be blocked (indented)
    from the left margin.
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